Silk Reeling Exercise
The silk reeling exercise (chan si gong) is an important training method for developing body awareness, coordination, unity in movement, strength and internal energy. It is and essential skill to develop for tai chi chuan. These exercises were created to assist students to understand how the body must move to gain and utilize the unusual strength of Taiji. These silk reeling movements work on the spine and the different joints of the body. Proper spinal alignment is one of the most important keys to overall good health. An unhealthy spine can cause disease in many parts of the body.
All the nerves in the body connect to the spinal cord and pass through the narrow channel in the center of the spine. Numerous conditions are caused by the misalignment of the spine as each vertebra affects different parts of the body and body functions based on the segment of the spinal cord which passes through it. Furthermore, the loss of structural integrity from the misaligned spine results in distress in the nervous system and may be affecting the brain, the brain stem, the spinal cord and/or the peripheral nerves.
The silk reeling exercise not only improves one’s spinal alignment, it can increase one’s flexibility, joint movement, and balance. It is also an exercise for internal power training. In order for the internal power to effectively express itself outwardly, each joint has to be strong yet flexible and be able to work with all other parts of the body. As you practice more, you will feel how these spiraling exercises help to develop your internal power.
At any level of tai chi training, silk reeling exercises are of great importance. How you move in silk reeling is how you move in the Tai Chi form, both are interdependent on each other. Training silk reeling drills is a life long commitment to improving your Tai Chi form.
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